PTA-Blog-Hop-Large-ButtonWelcome to the the Planes, Trains, and Automobiles Blog hop!  Today we are hopping in the car and heading down the shore!JerseyShore

Just the thought of the Jersey Shore brings me to memories of the Boardwalk, Seagulls, Laughter, and Good Times. When I first saw that Island Batik had named a collection of fabrics after one of my all time favorite places, I knew I would have to check these fabrics out.   
I am a Jersey Girl at heart, after all.

A day at the shore (in NJ we don’t call it the beach) always evokes feelings of those ‘Lazy Days of Summer’.  As I write this post – I know that in addition to showing you the beautiful Island Batik Jersey Shore collection, I will also be taking a step back in time.

Scan

When we were kids, mom would pile us into the station wagon for a day of fun in the sun.  We packed Sunblock (back then it was called Suntan Lotion), flip flops, sun glasses, a book to read, a cooler full of sandwiches, and a transistor radio.  Today – I still pack those things when I go to the beach.  Now I will be using my Catch All Caddy byAnnie. This fun tote has a pocket for everything you need for a day in the sand!  There is even a zippered pocket on one end to stow away your watch, keys, and pocket change.

What you will need

Lets get started!

As always, I read through the pattern before doing anything else.  I read this one twice!  There are a lot of steps.  However, they are written in a clear and concise format and each step has a check-box to guide you through the project. I found these check boxes to be absolutely essential!  This is not a project you can finish in one day – so take your time and complete all of the segments before assembling the final piece.

I began by gathering my supplies and cutting the pieces.  I kept track of the cut pieces using post-it notes. (I keep a stack of these with my sewing supplies). This helps me to find the piece the pattern is calling for easily when the time comes.

Caddy1

The first step is to quilt the outside pieces of the Catch All Caddy.   Use spray adhesive as a temporary bond for the outside and inside quilted pieces. This holds them together as you sew and helps to eliminate puckers. Using an air erasable marking pen, I drew lines for the quilting and used a walking foot with a ditch guide. I like the air erasable marker as the lines fade and leave no trace.

Caddy2

There are other pieces to finish before the final assembly step: Pockets, Handles, Zippers…  Each step in this pattern has detailed instructions to help you complete it successfully.  Installing a zipper was a new thing for me to learn, but byAnnie has a video tutorial on her website to help with that step. In fact, she has tutorials posted for many of her patterns. Another valuable reference tool!

Caddy4

When all of the smaller parts are put together, you are ready to turn them into a finished Catch-All Caddy (aka: Jersey Girl Beach Tote)  I love that the pockets are already finished with the contrasting binding.  I also appreciate usefulness of the hardware because the handles drop to the sides, out of the way, to give you easy access to those inside pockets! The trickiest part was finishing the outside binding. It wasn’t hard to do, but there are at least 3 thick layers to sew through. Take your time on that part and it will come out great.

Caddy5

Time to put it all together and add finishing touches! This was my favorite part. I loved seeing this evolve from a 2D project into a soft, sturdy 3D tote.  I even found the perfect aqua seashore cabochon to add a personal touch to my Jersey Girl tote bag.

Caddy7

We are planning a family vacation at the Jersey shore this summer.  I can’t wait to get back home!  You can take the girl out of Jersey  – but you can’t take the Jersey out of this girl. This tote is the perfect place for my sunglasses, flip-flops, sunblock, iPod, and a good summer book. An August day on a sun kissed beach is pure perfection to me, and I can’t wait to use my new Catch All Caddy at the Jersey Shore!

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